We see it all the time – the beauty of exotic animals and breathtaking coastlines; of gorgeous faces and stadiums filled to the brink for the World Cup. So it may seem strange to hear that South Africa needs our help.
Where is the need? And why do I need to help?
South Africa is is still recovering from the effects of Apartheid. Problems that were created during Apartheid were not simply wiped clean when the first democratic election took place. They linger still today. Income inequality, governmental distrust, racial tension, and a sense of newfound entitlement in connection with all work against the poorest members of South African society make rising past poverty seemingly impossible.
The hardest hit – those disproportionately affected – are the children. It is estimated that there are 5 million orphans in South Africa. Nearly half of those children have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS. Even more are currently living with a parent or parents that are sick, and around 150,000 live in houses with no adults at all.
Even when community or family members are there to offer shelter for an orphaned child, the poverty level that so many people live in make it nearly impossible to adequately provide. According to statistics, more than half of South Africans live below the poverty line with nearly 11 million of those in extreme poverty. The love and the desire to care for orphans is there, but it is financially impossible in a lot of cases.
When you consider the history of the country with Apartheid and it’s effects, it isn’t surprising to note that the highest levels of poverty occur in the black townships. While living in one of these townships, alone, does not automatically mean you are poor, need help, or have more struggles, it does stack the deck against you. Many of these townships have no power, water, or sanitation. Jobs are nearly non-existent. People are isolated in a way that almost ensures their inability to work their way out – let alone help others along with them.
So, we know there are hardships in South Africa. Some pretty serious ones. But what makes them any worse than some of the most impoverished areas where we live?
Nothing. Nothing makes it worse. All injustice and poverty should be addressed. All orphans and families should be cared for. But South Africa doesn’t have social programs like we do. South Africa isn’t far enough into their recovery that they have plans in place for their circumstances. Even more importantly, the South African government does not have the funds to care for all the orphaned children on their own. If we don’t help, who will?
Mosaic SA is a way you can help. And through Mosaic SA, you will help those who need it the most – the South Africans – through Mosaic.
Mosaic is special. It is. The services they provide to people, the empowerment that they give – it is something most charities aren’t able to do. Mosaic believes in giving a hand-up not a hand-out. They are not trying to bandaid the problem, they are trying to help one family at a time conquer their circumstances so that they can continue to support their foster children and themselves in a way that is honorable and empowering.
Mosaic addresses the most basic problems facing South Africa today:
- Orphans – Mosaic identifies families that are currently fostering or have adopted at least two orphans. With nearly 5 million orphans in South Africa, this is Mosaic’s first focus and is the major qualifier to becoming a Mosaic family.
- Poverty – Families must be willing to work. If the parent does not have a job, Mosaic will train and create a job for them so they are responsible for for providing for their own family. Made by Mosaic is a job-creation company that was created to provide jobs for those who needed them.
- Housing – If the family is living in less than desirable conditions, Mosaic will find volunteers to donate their time and money to build a house for the family. The house will have electricity, water, and sanitation in addition to separate bedrooms for the adults, the boys, and the girls. The house will then be rented at a very reduced rate to the family so they can experience the pride of providing for their own family.
- Education – The Mosaic children all participate in the after school program working on reading, math, etc. It is run by long-term volunteers and enhances the education the children receive in the local schools (which isn’t as good as it should be). They also expose the children to activities outside of their local community to show them the possibilities in their lives. Mosaic understands that in order to keep the next generation out of poverty, education is their greatest weapon.
- Life Skills – Mosaic offers different life skills training for the foster parents in their community. Subjects include parenting, health and hygiene, financial management, or any other issue that people might need help with. Mosaic continually equips its community with the tools they need to be successful.
Mosaic changes the way we think of charity. Mosaic has taught us that the most meaningful help we can give to people is the opportunity to be successful on their own. Mosaic is a beautiful example of that, but needs our support to continue helping those who need it most.
Mosaic SA is how you can make that happen. Please click on the Get Involved tab at the top of this page to find out how you and Mosaic SA can help Mosaic continue their good work.